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Consumer Reports gift guide: Holiday home theater

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Online shoppers are expected to spend a whopping $143 billion dollars this holiday season, up more than 14% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

If you’re planning to spend some of your cash on tech gifts, Consumer Reports has some great suggestions for the media lovers in your life.

Tech gifts and gadgets are always popular holiday presents, and here’s some good news for the gift-giver: Experts at Consumer Reports expect many of these items to be on sale during this holiday season.

That’s especially true when it comes to TVs, which are often at their lowest prices of the year.

The 65-inch TCL smart TV is a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $800. Consumer Reports says it delivers a lot of bang for the buck, including top-notch picture quality and compelling HDR experience.

There’s also the latest generation of Amazon’s Fire TV Cube for $120. It’s a combination streaming media player and Echo Dot smart speaker. The Fire TV Cube lets you control other devices, so it’s like having a universal remote. And the updated model supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 for images with greater contrast and colors that really pop.

JBL’s Link Bar, a Consumer Reports’ Best Buy at $400, is more than just a sound bar. It has built-in Android TV streaming capability, so you can access streaming music, like Pandora, and streaming video, like Netflix and Hulu. The Link Bar also has Google’s Chromecast built in, so you can cast content from your device
to display on the TV it’s connected to. And if that isn’t enough, it also has Google Assistant built in.

You can spread a little holiday cheer and a good WiFi signal with the TP Link Deco whole-home mesh router. It’s a CR Best Buy at $160 for three units. The experts at CR says it's easy to set up and has good security and versatility. It's also backed by a 24-month warranty and 24/7 tech support.

Consumer Reports reminds shoppers to do some research before making big purchases.

Try using a price comparison tool to make sure you’re getting the best deal in stores and online.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.

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